Dream Realized

From the time he was very young, Dreamius Smith just knew he'd end up a Jayhawk. Over the weekend, his dreams were realized, and Smith made his verbal commitment to play football at KU.

It is perhaps fitting that a young man bearing the name 'Dreamius' would have big plans for himself.

Growing up, he and his father would watch the Kansas Jayhawks on television, or sometimes in person, and Dreamius would see himself wearing the crimson and blue. He'd look up to his dad and tell him as much, that he would like to be a Jayhawk one day.

"He used to always tell me 'It's going to happen,'" Dreamius said.

This weekend, those words proved to be prophetic, as the talented running back from Wichita gave a verbal pledge to the Jayhawks and Head Coach Turner Gill.

In the early stages of recruiting for the Class of 2011, Gill and his coaching staff have cast a wide net – though special attention has been paid to a few key targets native to the Sunflower State. Smith is one such target, and KU football showed intense early interest in the Wichita Heights High School product, offering him a scholarship before other programs had even completed their initial evaluations of him.

In the weeks that followed, Smith kept in frequent contact with the Kansas coaching staff, including his lead recruiter, safeties coach Robert Wimberly. By the time he, his mother, his uncle and his cousin piled into a car to make the drive east Saturday morning for a planned unofficial visit, he had a pretty good idea of how things were going to end.

He just wanted to hear confirmation of a few things first, he said, such as the nature of the offensive scheme under Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long.

"They were 100-percent with me the whole tour," Smith said. "They were saying how if I'm not ready they won't play me, but they think I have the ability to play when I get down there."

The truthfulness and up-front nature of the entire coaching staff only served to seal the decision in his mind. By the time he and his family met with Gill in his office, he was ready to commit.

The Jayhawks' head man was, of course, justifiably excited by the news.

"He got up and gave me a big hug," Smith said, of Gill. "My mom started crying joyful tears, and my cousin got up and gave me a hug. My uncle got up and hugged me. We were just all happy after I told them."

Though his mother had never been much of a sports fan outside of her son's participation, that all changed this weekend, he added. And Gill, who has placed so much importance on developing relationships with everyone from his players and fellow coaches to prospective recruits, had a lot to do with that transformation.

It seems he made quite an impression on both of them.

"She really loved Coach Gill," Smith said. "She kept talking about him the whole way home. About how she liked him a lot, and he's a real good person to look up to. She believes he can help me become a man."

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